Blog
Kenya    Tanzania    Philippines    Mexico    India
#TeamTala Reflections: I Came, I Saw, I Choma’d
KE
bobellabrands
• 2 minute read

Mo Alabi is Tala’s Content Marketing Manager and is based in our Santa Monica headquarters.

What did I learn in Nairobi?

I ask myself this and stare at a blank screen.

At Tala, I manage content strategy — how audiences interact with everything from our voice, to our creative and visual communication — so a trip to get to know my Nairobi-based colleagues and interview our customers about their Tala experience should result in something akin to epic montages, captivating photography and page after page of ideas and possibilities.

Or so, one thinks. I stare at a blank screen and ask myself how I could possibly capture the smirk on Joshua’s* face, when we asked him about how he started his business and keeps up with customers. It’s a smirk that is filled with kindness, a sense of humor, and a look in his eyes that hints at the many, many stories he’s lived and trials he’s endured on his journey to entrepreneurship.

I stare at my screen and ask myself about how I can write about Mary’s* adorable kids, peeking out from behind her couch, as she shares her insights about growing with Tala and building trust with the customers that frequent her duka.

I think of eating nyama choma for the first time, then the third, fourth and fifth time with my colleagues while sitting at an outdoor restaurant and lovingly teasing another co-worker about his faux French skills.

I think of these things and ask myself what I learned and how to convey it here on our team blog. Several false starts later, the things I learned/felt/tasted/saw/loved/embraced about my time in Nairobi can be summarized in a few thoughts:

Community is key to success. We met our customers in their shops, and a byproduct of this was getting to observe how often they interacted with fellow shop-owners and neighbors. It was clear that maintaining these strong relationships was key to a thriving business; having the sort of interaction with a customer that makes them want to return — to share a joke, to seek advice, to purchase a meal or product. These all rely on a genuine shared experience that builds trust.

There’s creativity in resilience. Our customers like Mary and Joshua expressed how they learned what stock to keep, what products to sell, and how to price stock by paying attention to what was working for their businesses, being nimble about what was stagnant, and getting creative with available resources to sustain their work and customer base.

Learning from our customers, Tala strives for our product and company culture to hold these same values. We seek to foster community within our team, and leveragehuman-centered design strategies in creating new products or processes. We say ‘yes’ to risks, ‘yes’ to opportunities to improve our customer experience, and ‘no’ to anything that hinders us from our vision of opening up financial access for the billions of credit-invisible individuals around the world.

So, what did I learn in Nairobi? That I chose the right career path, the right company, and will dedicate my time on this team to helping make sure Tala is always the right choice for our customers.

*Names changed to protect customer privacy.

Expanding financial access, choice and control for 3 billion underserved globally.
Tala provides modern credit for the mobile world
Blog
Kenya    Tanzania    Philippines    Mexico    India
#TeamTala Reflections: I Came, I Saw, I Choma’d
KE
bobellabrands
• 2 minute read

Mo Alabi is Tala’s Content Marketing Manager and is based in our Santa Monica headquarters.

What did I learn in Nairobi?

I ask myself this and stare at a blank screen.

At Tala, I manage content strategy — how audiences interact with everything from our voice, to our creative and visual communication — so a trip to get to know my Nairobi-based colleagues and interview our customers about their Tala experience should result in something akin to epic montages, captivating photography and page after page of ideas and possibilities.

Or so, one thinks. I stare at a blank screen and ask myself how I could possibly capture the smirk on Joshua’s* face, when we asked him about how he started his business and keeps up with customers. It’s a smirk that is filled with kindness, a sense of humor, and a look in his eyes that hints at the many, many stories he’s lived and trials he’s endured on his journey to entrepreneurship.

I stare at my screen and ask myself about how I can write about Mary’s* adorable kids, peeking out from behind her couch, as she shares her insights about growing with Tala and building trust with the customers that frequent her duka.

I think of eating nyama choma for the first time, then the third, fourth and fifth time with my colleagues while sitting at an outdoor restaurant and lovingly teasing another co-worker about his faux French skills.

I think of these things and ask myself what I learned and how to convey it here on our team blog. Several false starts later, the things I learned/felt/tasted/saw/loved/embraced about my time in Nairobi can be summarized in a few thoughts:

Community is key to success. We met our customers in their shops, and a byproduct of this was getting to observe how often they interacted with fellow shop-owners and neighbors. It was clear that maintaining these strong relationships was key to a thriving business; having the sort of interaction with a customer that makes them want to return — to share a joke, to seek advice, to purchase a meal or product. These all rely on a genuine shared experience that builds trust.

There’s creativity in resilience. Our customers like Mary and Joshua expressed how they learned what stock to keep, what products to sell, and how to price stock by paying attention to what was working for their businesses, being nimble about what was stagnant, and getting creative with available resources to sustain their work and customer base.

Learning from our customers, Tala strives for our product and company culture to hold these same values. We seek to foster community within our team, and leveragehuman-centered design strategies in creating new products or processes. We say ‘yes’ to risks, ‘yes’ to opportunities to improve our customer experience, and ‘no’ to anything that hinders us from our vision of opening up financial access for the billions of credit-invisible individuals around the world.

So, what did I learn in Nairobi? That I chose the right career path, the right company, and will dedicate my time on this team to helping make sure Tala is always the right choice for our customers.

*Names changed to protect customer privacy.

Expanding financial access, choice and control for 3 billion underserved globally.
Tala provides modern credit for the mobile world